RCAF Run – desert style!

Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed to Erbil, Iraq, as a part of Operation Impact take part in the Royal Canadian Air Force/Cystic Fibrosis Run on Friday, May 26, 2017. The runners came from the Tactical Aviation Detachment, the Role 2 medical facility, and the Joint Task Force (Iraq) Detachment Erbil support element. PHOTO: DND, KW06-2017-0153-013

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News Article / June 16, 2017

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On May 19, 2017, more than 60 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to Kuwait on Operation Impact laced up their running shoes and competed in the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Run – desert style.

Having three, five and twelve kilometre options to choose from, runners from the Army, Navy and, of course, the Air Force, awoke early for the 6 a.m. start, embracing temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius under a rising sun.

This special RCAF Run was organized in coordination with the main RCAF event, which takes place every year during the last weekend of May in Winnipeg.  The Air Task Force – Iraq Chief Warrant Officer from Roto 4 was the driving force behind the Operation Impact version of the run.

“I was extremely interested in coordinating a satellite run that would raise funds for the charities that are also supported by the parent event in Winnipeg,” he said. “In a manner of speaking, my thought was that it could make our deployed members feel a little closer to home, even though we are many kilometres away.”

The saying, “eat my dust” took on a whole new meaning as runners competed against each other for bragging rights on the sand-swept road that encircles the airfield near “Camp Canada”.

Northern Iraq

A week after the run in Kuwait, on May 26, more than 100 soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen donned their gym attire and ran five kilometres for a good cause in Northern Iraq. The Operation Impact personnel ended up raising approximately $1,000 for the fight against cystic fibrosis, with runners and joggers coming from the Role 2 Treatment Facility, the Tactical Aviation Detachment, and the Joint Task Force (Iraq) Detachment Erbil support element.

The event was also held in concert with the RCAF Run.

Combining the two events was the brainchild of an operating room technician working out of the Role 2 medical facility. “I raise money every year for this event with my wife because I have a niece that suffers from cystic fibrosis,” said the technician. “I was very happy with the turnout today and the money raised.”

Despite the 6:30 a.m. start, the sun was out and the sky was clear, with the weather already warm. Some participants absolutely gave it their all as they traversed the roads surrounding the Canadian camp, with the top male participant clocking in at 18:18 and the top female completing the run in 20:20.

“My niece was pleased that we were able to do this event even though we’re in Northern Iraq,” said the operating room technician. “I think the event brought everybody together as one big team and it was also great to meet people from the other sections and get active.”

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